1951 coupe rebuild project

schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
I am starting the (several year) process of rebuilding this 51 coupe. Figured I would post some picture so I can show some progress.....hopefully as time and money allows.

I picked this one up afew years ago and stripped it down. Its a solid car so I will do what I can to get it back on the road.



  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Pile of parts
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    I have a 308 back from the machine shop ready to be put together. I will need to freshen up the valves or find some new ones. Need to spend some time checking them over good.

  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Front suspension is off for complete rebuild. Sandblasting all components and painting.

  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Sprayed some primer on the front subframe. I will paint it semi gloss black when I have everything ready.

    The guy must have been chasing some deer with this...haha
    fixing some dents underneath.



  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Some rust in the trunk. First time using a bead roller.....turned out OK

    Tried to put afew spot welds back in the panel

  • 54coupe54coupe Posts: 610Member
    I love the short wheelbase coupes. Please keep us up to date with your progress.
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Rear Gear:

    I did the ol jack up the rear end spin the tire twice and count the pinion turns. What I currently have in this car is a 4.10 gear. Since I live out in the country (central plains) I better get a highway gear under it.

    I pulled this out of a 51 4 door with an automatic. It appears to be a 3.5 gear. I hope this will be a better all around gear for this car that will have a 308 manual with OD.

    I will tear it down and make sure it isn't worn out. Can a guy get rear axle seals for these now days?

    Any other suggestions before I put this under my project car?

  • 54coupe54coupe Posts: 610Member
    That will be a great ratio for you.
  • LanceLance Posts: 931Member
    I have those seals Dan.
  • supercubsupercub Posts: 116Member
    The car has a great style, I like the chopped look.
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    I was able to tear down the rear end today. Verified the gear is 3.58 and the ring and pinion look good. No broken teeth or wore too much. Now the cleaning and painting begin. Along with new seals and checking all the bearings.

  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    While I am waiting for front end parts I decided to build the front brakes so when the parts arrive I can just bolt them right up.

  • 7XPacemaker7XPacemaker Posts: 447Senior Contributor
    We did a similar driveline setup in my father’s’49. The engine was not bone stock and ran really good. We really couldn’t put it in overdrive until around 65 MPH. We passed everything on the road from Pa to the Indiana national meet that year!
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Looking for some input here in removing the antenna assembly. The set screw in the knob won't budge so now its stripped. I was going to try a small left handed drill bit and try to get the set screw out and hopefully save the knob.

    Does anyone else have any tricks or ideas to try?

    The antenna on the outside is broken off too so I will need to replace that down the road.

  • supercubsupercub Posts: 116Member
    A little heat with a heat gun on low and some pb blaster a few heat cycles, grind the hex bit flat and sharp on the end and peen over slightly to expand,  to bite really good into the bottom of the set screw.
  • supercubsupercub Posts: 116Member
    I was wondering if there is a seal of some sort on the shaft? I have some staining on my headliner right below my knob.
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Ok thank you. I do not have a heat gun so will try to find one to borrow.

    It is a flat head set screw and I guess its not stripped......yet. Last time I tried I must have quit before that happened. 

    When I get this knob off I will let you know if there is any remnant of a seal on the underside around the shaft.
  • ratlee2ratlee2 Posts: 300Expert Adviser
    When I removed my antenna knob, I took a propane torch and heated the screw driver.  I then held the screwdriver on the screw for a few seconds and unscrewed it.  it wouldn't budge before I tried this.  
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Great, I was thinking the same thing.....I do have a propane torch.

    I will give that a try.
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Spent half of the day drilling and removing these door hinges. Talk about a fun time!  Thank God it's only a two door.

    I have one more half to remove from the door. Then hopefully I can pound out the old pins and fit some old valve stems for the new pins..... hopefully.

  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Incase someone else needs to remove hinges that are too rusty to remove traditionally.

    I used a step drill bit to center it and round off the Phillips head. Next I drilled and removed the head with an 11/32 bit.

    Pulled the backing plate out of the door jam. Wire wheeled the back side threads. Then soaked threads with "Free All" penetrating oil. Slapped it in the vice and used a vice grips pliers to spin the old bolt out the way it went in.
  • cheyenne7271cheyenne7271 Posts: 221Member
    I hear the screws with a propane torch first, spray with your favorite penetrant then I use my impact gun and impact screwdriver bits, to gingerly at first, break that rusty seal between the hinge and screw heads. This works 90-95% of the time even on cars that have been sitting since the late 50’s. The others I have to drill. I can post pics later if need be. 
  • cheyenne7271cheyenne7271 Posts: 221Member
    I heat, not hear, the screws lol
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Finally got to play with my new brake line flaring tool from eastwood. It works great!

  • 7XPacemaker7XPacemaker Posts: 447Senior Contributor
    I have new door screws- 8 per hinge. They are Allen head instead of the traditional Phillips head but the pitch is correct. Let me know if you need any...
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    Thanks, sent PM
  • 29sptphaeton29sptphaeton Posts: 332Member
    Looks like copper brake lines? I’ve always been told that copper was to soft for brake lines. I have seen copper lines used that had big bulges in them from the copper stretching under pressure.
  • schillazschillaz Posts: 318Expert Adviser
    These are copper clad with nickel inside. 
    Awesome stuff to work with.

    Read more at link below:

  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 2,074Expert Adviser
    edited January 10
    Schillaz, thank you for sharing you journey with words and pictures!
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